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Official: Obama’s law ‘expedition of discovery’

President Obama’s health care law is an “expedition,” Dr. Donald M. Berwick, head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said Thursday.

“I’ve said this in speeches before: We’re on an expedition of discovery,” Dr. Berwick said. “We didn’t have the answer at the start, so we’re in this discovery mode, and it is a little confusing. I understand that.”

He acknowledged that, for many Americans, provisions in the expansive new Affordable Care Act can be a bit befuddling. In a poll conducted in August by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 47 percent of uninsured respondents said they did not expect to be effected at all by the health care reform, either positively or negatively.

“As I go around the country and think about what people believe and know about the Affordable Care Act, I see still a challenge to help people really understand what’s in it for them, and what’s in it for them is a ton,” he said.

Dr. Berwick, whose nomination was fiercely challenged by congressional Republicans, will be one of the key early architects implementing Mr. Obama’s health care overhaul plan.


National Democrats jump into special election

NEW YORK — National Democrats are running ads hoping to prevent an embarrassing loss in a special congressional election in New York next week.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Thursday it would begin an ad campaign attacking Republican candidate Bob Turner in the 9th Congressional District. The seat was vacated in June, when Democratic Rep. Anthony D. Weiner resigned in a sexting scandal.

Democrat David Weprin was expected to win easily. But polls show a close contest ahead of Tuesday’s special election.

The committee says it’s spending about half a million dollars on the ads. They won’t run Sunday, the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.


GOP plans state’s first presidential straw poll

COLUMBUS — Republicans in central Ohio say they are making plans for the bellwether state’s first presidential straw poll.

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